Sponge Temperature Monitoring

Sponge Bioherm Monitoring Project

Sponge bioherms offer habitat for fish and other marine animals and may also act as a nursery ground for rockfish.  Howe Sound is the only known site in the world where humans can air dive on and study the biology of sponge bioherms, hence protection for these unique habitats is highly desirable. Harvesting data and presenting facts about sponge bioherms would be beneficial to reach this goal of more public awareness and then full protection for the bioherms.

Updates on data recovery to data

Project 

Placement of temperature monitor

Cloud sponges may be at risk from elevated water temperatures. Recent studies have suggested that water temperatures above 10 degrees celsius will damage sponge tissue and can destroy a sponge bioherm. This project will select four to five sponge bioherms in Howe Sound that can be reached by air gas diving then implant long term temperature loggers (thermochron) into the middle of the sponge bed. During the mission, the sensor-logger combination will be programmed to read and store water temperatures at three hour time periods. The loggers will be retrieved on intervals of three to eight months, read and returned to the exact same location.

Goals 

To supply marine biologists and researchers with water temperature data from the Howe Sound sponge bioherms locations that covers a minimum continuous time span of five years. With a sample rate of every three hours, this will yield a five year total of 114,600 samples or 2920 samples/year.

Temperature changes at Halkett bioherm from  January 26 to April 14, 2014. Graph prepared by Lena Clayton
Temperature changes at Halkett bioherm from January 26 to April 14, 2014. Graph prepared by Lena Clayton

Project Budget Estimates 

10 sensor loggers $24.23/ea
10 pressure housings $31.88/ea
10 housing materials $12.00/ea
1 USB i-button reader $25.00/ea
8 boat diving trips $150.00/ea
TOTAL                        $1906.10 

This project is being funded entirely by donations. Please help us collect this important data so we can better understand Howe Sound’s glass sponge bioherms and ensure they are protected.

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